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Wiring schematic for a upper thermostat - Rheem Water Heaters

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  • Rheem Master
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Jan 2013
1) Copy following links for wiring upper thermostat:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/WH-w-combined2-1000.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-water-heater-thermostats.html

2) Thermostat must sit flat against tank wall to read correct temperature, and entire opening must be covered with insulation so cool room temperature will not interfere with temperature reading.
Be sure to put cover back on side of tank for electrical safety, and to prevent any possible fire caused by melted parts and overheating.

3) Tighten wires very tight under screw plate, and make sure only copper wire is used, and all wires under plate are same gauge, do not mix stranded wire and solid wire or stranded will become loose.
Only copper under the screw plate and cut back insulation so no insulation gets under screw plate.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Burned-thermostat5-143.jpg

4) Add comment and say what you are doing

Posted on Jan 23, 2013

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Symptom: water gets too hot, before and after thermostats are replaced, burn mark and insulation swelling/melting on non-common wire from upper element to upper thermostat, and the breaker trips.


Double check the thermostat connection and setting; if it persists, I would add a pipe hugging thermostat connected to a shunt trip for the heater elements.

Jul 26, 2015 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Water heater


Guessing that you have 240Volt residential non-simultaneous electric water heater? And that you have 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire. And that water heater is located within 100 feet of breaker box. And there are no leaks running hot water out of tank. And that you installed fully brand NEW elements of same wattage as old elements. And that fully brand new thermostats were installed, and wiring exactly duplicates wiring that was present before. And that factory-insulation was re-installed over elements and thermostats.

1) Guessing the 'hot water shut off' means the ECO red reset button located on upper thermostat keeps tripping and cutting off electric power to water heater?
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/WH-w-combined2-1000.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-wires.html

2) If the ECO is tripping, then water is getting too hot, or there is shorted wire located near the upper thermostat, .
Typically replacing both thermostats and replacing elements will solve this problem .... assuming that new thermostats and elements are good, and wiring correct.
Double-Check your wiring on upper and lower thermostats.
Test wires for short.
Make sure factory-insulation is re-installed over thermostats so cool room temperature will not affect temperature reading.
Check that thermostats sit flat against steel tank.
Many short draws hot water can also cause stacking event that will trip circuit breaker.

3) Add comment and say what you find using checklist above.
Be careful to explain findings fully, using same words found on links above, so illuminated diagnosis can be made.

Dec 28, 2012 | Water Heaters

2 Answers

How do I wire around upper heating element until I can get an other one to replace it?


Question posted under marathon electric water heater.
Marathon is 240Volt dual element non-simultaneous water heater.
Non-simultaneous means that upper part of tank has to reach temperature before power is sent to lower thermostat and element. So if upper element is bad, then water heater has no hot water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html#audibleBW

1) You need to by-pass upper element without by-passing upper thermostat.
2) You should never by-pass upper thermostat because it has ECO-reset protection.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostats-work.html

3) Open following link for image of wiring:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Marathon-wiring-700.jpg
4) Take photo of your wiring in case color code is different on your specific model

5) Look at upper thermostat.
Remove yellow wire from terminal 2 on upper thermostat, and cap off temporarily.
Remove red wire from terminal 4 on upper thermostat, and move it to terminal 2 on upper thermostat.
6) For more effective operation, look at lower thermostat.
Remove black wire from lower thermostat terminal 1 and move wire to terminal 2 on lower thermostat.

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Sep 03, 2011 | Rheem MR105245 Marathon Electric Water...

1 Answer

Whirlpool E1F50RD045V 50 gal elec. , top element is on bottom element is not getting 208 v, removed both legs from bottom stat has120v on each side not getting 208 from top , is their a relay not closing...


Sounds like you might have a thermostat problem, or burned out lower element
Lower thermostat and both elements will test for 120V at all times because upper thermostat only cuts off one leg of 240V circuit, and other leg is hot all the time.

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostat-works.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-water-heater-thermostats.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

Yes, the elements alternate being turned ON.
This is called non-simultaneous operation.
Look at label on side of tank: Each element has rating of 4500Watts, but tank rating is also 4500Watts > that shows that both elements are not ON at same time.
This is standard wiring for water heaters.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

Water heaters can we wired differently, for example converted to simultaneous operation where upper thermostat and lower thermostat are no longer wired together, so upper and lower parts of tank are independent.
Lower thermostat is replaced with ECO protected thermostat identical to upper thermostat.
Another 240V circuit breaker is added to breaker panel, and that 240V line runs directly to lower thermostat. So upper and lower thermostats are each on separate 240V line.
The advantage of simultaneous is faster recovery of hot water, but downside is probably higher electric bill. Simultaneous wiring is usually reserved for larger tanks like 80 gallons, where elements can fall behind the amount of hot water needed.
Otherwise, ordinary non-simultaneous operation is proven to be satisfactory, if your home has not experienced shortages.
http://waterheatertimer.org/B220C.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-off-peak-water-heater-thermostats.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Do-it-yourself-water-heater-timer.html

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Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Feb 08, 2011 | Whirlpool Water Heaters

1 Answer

I awoke to no hot water, my heater is three yrs old and i just changed my upper and lower element and upper thermostat, still no hot water then i checked to see if i was getting power and i am, is there...


Your water heater has 2 elements so its 240Volts.

1) If breaker is delivering power on one leg of the 240Volt circuit, then water heater can appear to have electricity, but tank is receiving 120V. Both 120Volt legs are needed to complete the 240V circuit. Double check for 240Volts.

2) Review electric Load.
Water heater label shows wattage of tank.
If tank is 4500Watts for example, you installed 3500 or 4500 watt elements.
With 5500 Watt elements you need 30 amp breaker and orange-colored 10 gauge wire
With 4500 Watt elements you can get by on 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire up to 75 feet away.

3) Check ECO red reset button on upper thermostat. If reset is tripped, then ECO is reading high temperatures. Suspects at this point are defective upper thermostat, shorted wire or bad lower element.

4) Also note that insulation and cover must be re-installed over thermostat. Thermostat reads temperature through wall of tank. If outside air circulates around thermostat, that can cause a mis-read and cause tank to overheat and ECO trips.

If you don't want to test the heater, replace both thermostats for about $25. Return the upper thermostat for a refund. Then see of problem persists.

Here's what I would do.
1. Check breaker for 240
2. Check water heater for 240 across 1 and 3 screws on upper thermostat
3. Note wiring and breaker size.
4. Note label on side of tank.

5. Look at end of new element to see wattage printed on each element. Look for sings of high heat and burning. Tighten screws on elements.

6. Check ECO reset button. Look for high-heat and burning. Tighten screws on thermostat.

7. Test upper thermostat as follows:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Electric-diagram-water-800.jpg
Test left-side #1 screw to right-side middle #4 screw. Test should read 240V at all times. If not, then ECO is tripped, thermostat is bad, or electricity is OFF

8) Water heater is cold so upper element should be ON. Test upper thermostat.
Test right-side #3 screw to left-side bottom #2 screw and it should read 240V
Test right-side #3 screw to right-side bottom #4 screw and it should read 0 volts

8. If upper thermostat checks out. Test upper element for 240 across both screws. If upper element does not read 240 when water is cold, then element is bad or there is a shorted wire between element and upper thermostat.
How to test element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

9. Do a full troubleshoot on electric water heater
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Dec 07, 2010 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

1 Answer

What is the energy factor for the mod.82V80-2? I have two seperate 30amp circuits, one for the top element and one for the bottom element, if that changes anything.


http://www.rheem.com/product.aspx?id=09DF2BDD-5E11-4D32-B574-84ACFB8A4619
http://globalimageserver.com/fetchDocument.aspx?id=052c9e32-ce37-48d7-8990-9e430f23fef3

82V80-2 Energy factor is .86 according to water heater industry self-regulated standards.

Rheem pdf says these water heaters are wired for non-simultaneous operation.
Except special order water heaters.
Non-simultaneous operation uses single 240V circuit as described below.
If your water heater is wired for simultaneous operation, and each element is on a separate circuit, that makes your water heater special order. I would guess the reason is for higher first-hour delivery, which implies rapid heating and would likely affect energy factor.
You might want to get serial number off model and call Rheem for specs on that special order.

Your water heater energy factor may be the same because 'energy efficiency is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.' This means an aircraft carrier can be considered highly efficient despite overall cost. And naturally the guys making the aircraft carrier are also doing the rating.
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13000

Non simultaneous operation means the upper thermostat controls heating functions.
240V goes to upper thermostat first.
When water inside tank is cold, thermostat reads temperature through tank wall.
Upper thermostat turns on upper element until top 2/3 of tank reaches thermostat set point.
Once set point is reached, upper thermostat turns off upper element and sends power to lower thermostat and lower element.
Lower thermostat reads temperature through tank wall, and turns on lower element until bottom 1/3 of tank reaches thermostat set point.
As water cools inside tank, lower thermostat is first to respond since hot water rises.
Lower thermostat turns on lower element until tank again reaches set point.
When hot water faucet is turned on, hot water exits top of tank.
At same time, cold water enters bottom of tank through the dip tube.
The heating cycle repeats.
At all times, the electricity flows through upper thermostat. And upper thermostat is powered by one 240V circuit.

With simultaneous operation, the upper and lower thermostats work in same manner.
Except thermostats are wired separately.
Lower thermostat does not wait for upper part of tank to be heated first.
Lower thermostat turns on whenever lower part of tank cools.
The advantage is more hot water available rapidly when demand is high. This is called first hour recovery.

One method for reducing electric consumption is to set lower thermostat so it only turns on during certain times of day. For example Whirlpool Energy Smart operates in this manner and shaves a few bucks off the bill each month. This says that simultaneous operation is not an energy saver, unless that circuit controlling lower thermostat is set on a timer.

Dec 06, 2010 | Rheem 80 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

No hot water


Electric water heater can be repaired by homeowner.

Four things can cause NO hot water:
1) ECO red reset button tripped. Remove top cover on water heater, push red reset button on thermostat. Put insulation and cover back over thermostat.
2) Circuit breaker is tripped, circuit breaker bad, or wire loose in breaker box. Turn breaker on-off and listen for crackling or fizzing sound, and burned smell. Test breaker for 220Volts. Test top two screws on upper thermostat to see if water heater has electricity.
3) Bad upper thermostat. Replace upper thermostat.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
4) Bad upper element. Test upper element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

Nov 22, 2010 | Reliance WATER HEATER CO #9-40-DKRT 40GAL...

1 Answer

Installed new upper & lower elements & thermostats, only top htr works


If original problem was caused by sediment burning out lower element, did you clean sediment out of water heater when changing lower element?
Two element water heaters are 240V.
Thermostats cut power on one hot wire, but 240V circuit has 2 hot wires. So lower element has power at all times coming from the red wire.
1) Use ordinary tester or multimeter set to 240V <> test each screw of lower element to bare metal part of water heater. Each screw should show 120V. If there is no power, then upper thermostat is defective, screw on upper thermostat is loose, or red wire between upper and lower parts of water heater is bad.
2) Remove wires from lower element. Use continuity tester or multimeter set to ohms <> test across both screws of element to see if power travels through element <> if element is bad, then continuity tester will not light up and multimeter will show no ohms. Put wires back on element after test.
3) Start with cold water in tank. Turn on water heater & upper element will turn on. Put ear on side of tank to hear if upper element is heating water. Test #3 screw to #2 screw on low left side of thermostat, should read 240V > Test #3 screw to #4 screw on low right side of thermostat, should read 0V.
Put ear on side of tank. When upper element turns off: Test #3 screw to #2 screw on low left side of thermostat, should read 0V > Test #3 screw to #4 screw on low right side of thermostat, should read 240V. If this test shows 0V and 0V, then upper thermostat is bad. If reading is correct, immediately move to next test.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Thermostats-numbered-divided-500.jpg
4) Turn temp on lower thermostat to 150. Using ordinary tester or multimeter set to 240V <> Test across both screws of lower element. If there is no reading, and you know element is good from step 2, then lower thermostat is bad, or wire is bad between lower element and lower thermostat, or wire is bad between lower thermostat and top part of heater.
5) Test across both lower thermostat screws, should read 240V.If this test is good, it means wires are good. Put jumper wire across both screws of lower thermostat, and test lower element again. If element finally turns on with jumper wire, then lower thermostat is bad.
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http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

If wire is bad between upper and lower parts of water heater, and water heater has tight-fitting 2" foam insulation, it usually indicates water heater replacement.

Sep 20, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

I replaced the heating elements(2) and switiches(2) on my Rudd electric hot water heater. Model PES 40-2. The switghes came with several wiring diagrams.(universal) Can I get a diagram specific to my...


Residential water heaters USUALLY follow same diagram unless water heater is wired for other purpose. Multiple diagrams on instructions show available options. Take photo of wiring before removing wires on any electrical device.
Upper element.
Black wire from top of heater connects to #1 top left screw.
Red wire from top connects to #3 top right screw.
Blue wire from upper element connects to #4 middle screw on right side
Red wire from lower element connects to #4 middle screw on right side
Yellow wire from upper element connects to #2 lower left screw
Black wire from lower thermostat connects to #4 lower right screw
Upper element: Yellow and Blue wires connect to either screw
Lower element: Red wire from top connects to either screw
Lower thermostat: Black wire from top connects to top screw
Short wire between lower thermostat and lower element

http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Water-heater-wiring-w-numbe.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Thermostats-numbered-divided-500.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-water-heater-thermostats.html

Sep 18, 2010 | Whirlpool Water Heaters

1 Answer

Old Vanguard Water heater not heating.


the top element is energized until the water in the top of the tank is hot enough to satisfy the upper thermostat, then the thermostat switches and sends power to the lower element. This is done to quicken the recovery time.

Mar 05, 2010 | Water Heaters

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